Massachusetts Could Be Next to Tax Short-Term Rentals

Legislation on the verge of approval in Massachusetts would enact a linkage fee, in effect, that would generate revenue for funding affordable housing.
August 8, 2018, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Lewis Liu

"Massachusetts…is on the verge of becoming the first state to dedicate revenue generated from Airbnb and other short-term rental taxes toward affordable housing," according to an article by Liz Farmer.

"The Bay State is considering legislation that would apply its state hotel tax to short-term rentals and require at least 35 percent of separate, local hospitality taxes on those rentals to fund investments in affordable housing or infrastructure," adds Farmer.

As first reported by by Matt Murphy, the Massachusetts House and Senate agreed to legislation enacting the tax late in July.

Since the legislature approved the bill, Murphy has also reported that Governor Charlie Baker has added amendments to the bill, slowing, but not destroying, the legislation's progress. One amendment "would exempt homeowners that rent out their units for fewer than 14 days a year." Another would "limit the amount of information that will be made available through a new public registry of short-term rental housing units." Yet another amendment would change the definition of a short-term rental "in order not to violate the terms of the bonds used to finance the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center's construction."

A follow-up article by Rachel Dovey places the Massachusetts tax proposal in context of the national debate about short-term rentals and affordable housing, citing other cities that have enacted similar taxes.

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Published on Friday, August 3, 2018 in Governing
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